NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police say they tried to use a Taser before fatally shooting an emotionally disturbed man who was armed with a knife.
It happened around 12:45 p.m. Monday, in the Flatbush Gardens apartment complex on New York Avenue between Newkirk and Foster avenues in East Flatbush.
Four officers responded to a 911 call about an emotionally disturbed man, and were allowed into a fifth-floor apartment where the man lived with his mother.
“The 911 call was for a nonviolent emotionally disturbed person, and stated that he had no weapons,” said NYPD Chief of Patrol Terry Monahan.
But as the officers entered the apartment they were charged at by a man with a 14-inch serrated carving knife, police said.
Police say a Taser was used in an effort to subdue the man — identified as Dwayne Jeune, 32.
“One of the police officers deployed a taser which proved to be ineffective, a second police officer then fired at the individual striking him. The individual was pronounced dead at the scene,” Monahan said.
Monahan told reporters that the suspect was able to ‘fight through’ the taser.
“Both taser darts hit the body, one in the chest, one in the arm when it was deployed the suspect was able to fight through it and keep on moving forward,” he said.
As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, an officer opened fire with a gun, striking Jeune in the chest and killing him.
The sound of gunshots woke Lasaunti Newell, 14, next door. She took photos of a bullet hole in her wall and a shattered bottle on her floor.
“It flew through the dining room right to the table,” she said.
“I see paramedics running towards the building and taking someone out,” a neighbor said.
Neighbors said they didn’t know Jeune well, but saw him around and have never felt threatened by him before.
“He was a little mentally disturbed, but he wasn’t a troubled person. He wasn’t somebody that would come out and bother anyone,” Regina Blain said.
Late Monday, Jeune’s family gathered at a nearby church – consoling his parents.
“They witnessed the death of their son and they’re heavily traumatized,” said the Rev. Verole Matthew.
“To what I know, he had mental problems — but being violent and all that, no,” said Jeune’s cousin, Devon Luke.
Luke said Jeune was kind and gentle – an impression also left on neighbors.
“No matter what, he always smiling,” Luke said. “That’s one thing about him – always with a smile on his face.”
“From the time Dwayne come here to live, I know him one way—he either signing or in front of the mirror dancing” said a neighbor named Donna. “I have never ever seen him in a violent act with nobody.”
Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-45th) issued a statement Monday afternoon, saying he was ‘concerned’ by Jeune’s death.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the man that was killed today. While news is developing around the incident, I am nonetheless concerned with the loss of life that occurred. In particular, whether protocols were followed for dealing with a call for an Emotionally Disturbed Person,” he said.
Police said that Jeune’s mother did not mention that he had a weapon during the 911 call. The encounter occurred within seconds of officers entering the apartment, police said.